It’s not very often you see a trade happen during the NBA Finals. Teams that aren’t still playing are allowed to make deals as soon as their seasons are over, but it’s just not something that happens frequently. However, hours before Game 4, the Bucks traded veteran Turkish forward Ersan Ilyasova to the Pistons, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Ilyasova is an interesting fit in Detroit. He can fill the same stretch-four role that Ryan Anderson played on Stan Van Gundy’s Magic teams. He’s a career 37 percent three-point shooter and shot 38.9 percent from deep last season. Given Andre Drummond’s offensive limitations and Van Gundy’s system being heavily reliant on shooters, Ilyasova is a better frontcourt partner for Drummond than Greg Monroe. This trade is just the latest indication that Monroe will not be back in Detroit next season.
For the Bucks, this is a purely money-saving deal. Caron Butler’s $4.5 million and Shawne Williams’ $1.3 million for next season are fully unguaranteed. Assuming they are waived, the Bucks open up another $5.8 million in cap space. They already had plenty of room to make moves, but this extra cap space will allow them to add pieces even after they match a max or near-max offer for restricted free agent Khris Middleton.